February 26, 2019

• Krone is relocating its North American headquarters and parts distribution operations from Memphis, Tenn., to Olive Branch, Miss. The move is planned to begin by the end of the year.

• Milk production in December was up 0.5 percent compared to one year earlier, according to USDA. Annual milk production for 2018 totaled 217.5 billion pounds, up 0.9 percent from 2017.

• As of December, the nation’s dairy herd stood at 9.35 million cows, down from 9.4 million at the end of 2017. Year-over-year milk production per cow was up by 21 pounds during December.

• Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States (feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head) totaled 11.7 million head on January 1. USDA reports the inventory was 2 percent above one year ago. Placements in feedlots during December totaled 1.77 million head, 2 percent below 2018, while marketings of fed cattle during December totaled 1.74 million head, 1 percent below 2017.

• The USDA projects farmers will plant 92 million acres of corn in 2019, up from last year’s 89.1 million acres. Their average cash price forecast is $3.65 per bushel.

February 19, 2019

• Transporting hay for export by rail to West Coast ports is becoming a growing trend, according to The Hoyt Report. This is occurring because of competitive rates, new trucking regulations, and a general shortage of available transport trucks.

• The final U.S. corn yield settled at 176.4 bushels per acre, according to USDA’s Crop Production Annual Summary report. That’s nearly identical to 2017’s record of 176.6 bushels per acre. Total corn production in 2018 was down 1 percent from the previous year.

• With California’s declining alfalfa hay acreage, Idaho now leads all states in alfalfa dry hay production, producing 4.41 million tons in 2018. California moves to second place with 4.28 million tons produced.

• The 2019 Pennsylvania Forage Conference will be held on Thursday, February 21 in Grantville. Several satellite locations are also being offered.

• The new draft of the Clean Water Rule is receiving widespread support among farm and ranch organizations. Land features that only contain water during or in response to rainfall no longer are targeted for Federal jurisdiction. Groundwater is also off the table. A public comment period will be open until April 15. Nearly 11,000 comments have already been received as of this writing.

February 12, 2019

• Corn silage production in the U.S. declined by 4.8 percent in 2018, according to USDA’s Crop Production Annual Summary report. Farmers harvested a total of 121.4 million tons. Although average yield dropped marginally, harvested acres were down by 272,000.

• That corn silage acreage drop in the U.S. can be largely attributed to Wisconsin, where harvested acres reportedly declined by 210,000 in 2018. South Dakota dropped 150,000 acres and New York was down by 50,000. Kansas was up 140,000 acres while California was up by 15,000.

• USDA is also back in the export-reporting business but still a bit behind. Total alfalfa hay exports during November were up by 5 percent compared to 2017. Year-to-date exports through November remain down 5 percent from the previous year.

• For the third month in a row, China was not the leading importer of U.S. alfalfa hay. Japan held that spot in November (as they did in October) by purchasing 56,377 metric tons (MT) of alfalfa. China imported 47,904 MT while Saudi Arabia nearly matched that total at 43,850 MT. China’s November total was down 41 percent from the previous year.

• Year-over-year alfalfa hay exports from January through November showed volumes were down to China by 24 percent, up 4 percent to Japan, up 35 percent to Saudi Arabia, down 6 percent to United Arab Emirates (UAE), and up 8 percent to South Korea.

• UAE is the interesting export partner study. After being far below 2017 totals during the first half of the year, they are almost equally that far ahead of last year in the second half. Their November total of 31,613 MT was 290 percent higher than last year. Apparently, China is buying inventory from some of the UAE’s past trade partners, forcing the country to look toward the U.S.

February 5, 2019

• The decline in net farm income has varied greatly from state to state, according to this analysis from Ag Economic Insights.

• In a companion study looking at cash farm receipts, Ag Economic Insights breaks it down further into commodity groups. Hay producers faired relatively well, but dairy, corn, and wheat producers did not.

• The Noble Research Institute (Ardmore, Okla.) recently announced that Steven Rhines was named the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Rhines has been with Noble for almost two decades and most recently served as its vice president.

• At last week’s Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Corteva Agriscience announced it will brand its new pasture broadleaf herbicide as DuraCor. The product will bring a new active ingredient to the market, something that hasn’t occurred in many years. Expect to see the herbicide in 2020.

• There are a plethora of forage-related conferences, events, and meetings coming up over the next two months. Check them out here.